Smith setback strands QPR in the Forest

STRICKEN QPR forward Tommy Smith earned praise from his manager after his classy goal helped maintain Rangers’ advantage at the top of the Championship.

Smith’s 16th-minute strike put the Rs ahead in Sunday’s top-of-the table clash and he looked dangerous throughout the first half before suffering a recurrence of his hamstring strain.

The former Watford frontman, who had to sit out Rangers’ previous two matches due to that injury, is now likely to miss their upcoming clashes with Preston and Ipswich.

“I felt Tommy Smith was the one that could have unlocked the door,” declared QPR boss Neil Warnock. “We didn’t have enough nous when he went off.

“We had pace, but we needed that little bit more nous that Tommy gives us. The way he took his goal – superb, and he looked a threat all the time.”

Rangers seemed poised to put some distance between themselves and Forest after their promotion rivals had midfielder Radoslaw Majewski sent off for a two-footed lunge on Adel Taarabt midway through the first half.

But David McGoldrick netted a freakish equaliser just three minutes after Majewski’s dismissal and Forest’s remaining 10 men turned in a spirited performance to secure a thoroughly deserved point.

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“It’s always difficult against 10 men, as we know from Reading,” added Warnock. “Two good sides cancelled each other out a little bit and I still think it’s a good point.”